October's Featured Faculty: Tom Hynes, M.A.

Written by Nicole Johnson 

Tom Hynes, Assistant Professor of Commercial Guitar Studies and Music Theory, says he is passionate about his field because “in creating art, one can approximate the act of the Creator. In teaching musical art, [he] can share [his] own journey of creativity.”

As a sophomore in high school, he participated in a master class taught by Howard Roberts, a renowned jazz and studio guitarist. Roberts was not only tremendously encouraging, but the clear, efficient way he taught helped Hynes as a player and a teacher as well. After that weekend, Hynes knew music was something he could do if he worked diligently.

He has earned a Bachelor of Music in Studio Guitar Performance from the University of Southern California and a Master of Arts in Music Composition from California State University Los Angeles. His areas of expertise include Commercial Music, Jazz Education and Music Theory.

Hynes is a professional guitarist, composer, clinician, and educator. He has worked as a freelance musician (guitar and composition) which includes a 1996 State Department tour of Middle-East and Eastern Africa. He was a staff musician at Disneyland from 1982-1985 and was a composer for several short films commissioned by the Smithsonian Institute. Hynes has authored two books, Modern Harmonic and Melodic Practice (2011, revised 2013) and a self-published textbook for APU Music Theory IV.

Azusa Pacific University is a place where Hynes can “combine three areas of passion in my profession: music, teaching and faith.”

As he reflects on his time at Azusa Pacific, Hynes said his favorite memory was when he was “performing with the faculty ensemble assembled for Faculty Day in August, 2014. [He] assembled a guitar ‘team’ that included two former students who had become professionals. It was musically thrilling, and a source of pride.”

Words of Wisdom: “Take the time and effort to achieve a high level of training and expertise in your field, including professional accomplishment and experience. Be an outstanding practitioner of what you teach.”